WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is planning a trip to Connecticut Monday to step up the pressure on a reluctant Congress to pass gun control legislation.
The president is scheduled to speak at the University of Hartford, a White House official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity since the trip had not yet been officially announced. Families of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December are being invited to attend.
With lawmakers fighting the gun control package the president proposed in the wake of Newtown, Obama is trying to keep alive the outrage over the deaths and has been appearing with victims to put a human face on gun violence in America. He spoke at the White House last week, flanked by mothers whose children had been killed by gunfire and the Connecticut trip will be the second in a week to a state hit by a mass shooting. He's traveling Wednesday to Colorado, the site of a shooting at a crowded movie theater last summer.
In his visit to Denver, Obama wants to highlight the recent passage of a state law requiring background checks for gun purchases in private sales and prohibiting the sale of magazines that hold more than 15 bullets. Connecticut's General Assembly is expected to pass a gun control package this week that goes even further by banning new high-capacity ammunition magazines and creating new registration requirements for existing magazines that carry 10 or more bullets.
But Obama's call for nationwide gun control could be in jeopardy amid widespread Republican opposition and wariness from moderate Democrats. The president's proposal for an assault weapons ban seems doomed and he's struggling to get support for efforts to broaden background checks and prohibit high-capacity magazines.